We review the current status of our understanding and knowledge of the genes and proteins controlling meiosis in five major cereals, rye, wheat, barley, rice and maize. For each crop, we describe the genetic and genomic infrastructure available to investigators, before considering the inventory of genes and proteins that have roles to play in this process. Emphasis is given throughout as to how translational genomic and proteomic approaches have enabled us to circumvent some of the intractable features of this important group of plants.

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